We have heard the use of silicone appliances in our daily life around our places. From the kitchen to the aerospace rockets, silicone has an important place for its use because of the extraordinary physical property of its melting point. Many of us have doubts that do silicone melt? But, even experts cannot give a definite answer to the question without discussing the environmental conditions of the silicone situated.
In this article, I will clear the same doubt and also cover the related questions about the silicone.
Does silicone melt? Yes, Silicone melt at high temperatures of around 1414 degrees Celcius. Unlike plastic that can easily melt, Silicone does not easily melt. At a high temperature of about 400 – 500 degrees Celcius, Silicone hardly looses its physical properties.
Silicone is a metalloid which means it shows properties of metals and non-metals both and is denoted by Si symbol. Its melting point is pretty high as compared to other metals because of its strong covalent bond between Silicone atoms.
SIlicone is composed of a long continuous chain of Si-O-Si bond vertically and horizontally. The Silicone oxygen bond is very stable and it cannot be oxidized easily. However, with the high energy, the organic group attached to the Silicone atom can be oxidized to form silica.
This strong interaction between the bonds between Silicone and oxygen atoms takes its melting point so high.
The interaction between the chains depends on the length of the chain and on which part of the chain, the organic group is attached. The stronger the interaction between the chains, the greater will be the melting point.
Silicones have varieties of its types and all have different autoignition temperatures depending upon the hardness and its additives. The environment conditions of the silicone exposed to is also an important factor to identify the melting point of the silicone.
The silicones are the chemical compounds that contain atoms of Silicone, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen. Apart from these, other atoms can also be present having different physical and chemical properties.
Silicones can be prepared in different forms/states.
Liquid silicones are used as an adhesive in our daily usage to bind the things together. Silicone adhesive is polymers which are found to be stronger as compared to other adhesives.
AST-RTV 27106 Clear 100%, Gorilla 100% are some of the examples of the adhesive made from silicones.
When adhesive silicone melts, it remains intact at its place and does not flow. After temperature cools down, it resets and transforms to solid with time.
Silicone rubbers are usually known with the term of elastomers. This is a polymer containing silicones with atoms of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen.
Rubber silicones can bear high temperature above 200 degrees Celcius to as down as -60 degrees Celcius.
The silicone rubber starts degrading its physical properties around the temperature 250-400 degrees Celcius. At this temperature, they undergo depolymerization.
These are known to be highly amorphous material and do not have any fixed melting point. But, this doesn’t mean that they cannot be affected by the heat. Silicone rubbers are non-reactive, stable in nature.
One important thing to be understood here is also that silicone rubbers are also known to be thermosets. Basically, Thermosets are the substances that become solid on heating. Their chemical structure is of cross-linked bonding with each other.
When silicone rubber is heated, the polymer chains cannot move independently of each other. These chemical properties make it heat resistant and also thermal stable up to the large extent of temperature.
With so many qualities, these adhesives are not so much expensive in the market. Therefore, widely used around the world.
With the capability of heat resistant, it will not catch fire easily. Therefore, this is also used in the coating of electrical appliances.
Due to these properties, these silicone rubbers are used as many appliances such as electrical insulators, cooking and baking products.
Silicone can be used to make hard resins and rubber-like materials. This is generally used in the kitchen appliances and hand gloves used in the kitchens as they are heat resistant.
Silicone hand gloves used in the kitchen can be safely used in the boiling water. Food grade silicone is of great use around the world for food storing as compared to plastic bags because of the following reasons.
Why food-grade silicone is better than plastic?
- This is non-toxic and unlike plastic, it is odorless.
- This material is lightweight and completely recycled too.
- It does not crack and dry out with the time.
- Unlike plastic, It can bear high temperature.
- It is non-hazardous and highly resistant to any kind of damage.
Does silicone burn?
Silicones are of different types. And different type has its different resistance to heat. They have high resistance to heat and high thermal stability. But when silicone burns, it turns into a powder (ash).
The autoignition temperature of silicone varies as per the state of silicone and with the additives present in silicone.
So It is correct to say that silicone burn but unlike plastic, it does not leave behind the toxic matter.
Many experiments have been performed in high school laboratories to burn silicone in an open flame and check the residual and odor of the smoke while burning.
Does silicone melt in boiling water?
No, silicone does not melt in boiling water. Silicone has its high heat bearing capacity and does not easily melt. It is heat resistant up to 250-400 degrees Celcius. Above this temperature, the physical degradation may start.
But the boiling point of water is 100 degrees Celcius. So, if we place silicone in the boiling after, there will be no any kind of effect on the silicone material. Silicone can very easily withstand the boiling water for even an infinite period of time.
Therefore, silicone is used in making kitchen hand gloves which can be safely used without hurting the hand severely while cooking, baking foodstuffs in the cooking pan.
Silicone is not harmful to health in the way that silicone content does not reach into the food as in the case of the plastic food containers.
Does silicone melt in the oven?
We all have a doubt regarding the use of silicone used in the oven. We might have the fear that the silicone pan will melt in the oven, But it will not melt in any case because it has a high heat resistant capacity. Silicone containers can bear heat up to 300 – 500 degrees Celcius.
Silicone is flexible in nature and one of the advantages is that food can be easily removed from the silicone container because food does not stick to the silicone. Generally, food sticks to the containers made from the material other than silicone.
Food grade silicone is not toxic and odorless on heating. They are best for using as a baking container.
Silicone food pans are long-lasting in nature and do not break down with time. These are completely recycled.
In the above article, I tried to clear your doubts regarding the melting of silicone. I hope, you guys learned about the heat resistant and thermal stability capabilities of the Silicone. 🙂